Curipod helps teachers make interactive lessons using generative AI. Check out the pitch deck it used to raise $4.6 million in seed funding.
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- Curipod is a Norwegian edtech startup that helps teachers make interactive lessons using AI.
- Teachers can use Curipod to create classroom activities like polls, quizzes, and drawings.
- Founded in 2019, Curipod just raised $4.6 million in seed funding led by Reach Capital.
Unlike a lot of edtech startup founders, Jens Aarre Seip didn’t really like school as a child.
Growing up in Norway and going to traditional primary and secondary schools, Seip felt disengaged from stuffy, boring lectures and lesson plans. He initially dropped out of high school and enrolled in an alternative “sports school,” in the mountains of Norway, he said, and then worked as a social worker.
After that experience, he decided to become an entrepreneur, and attended the Norwegian School of Economics for college, but longed for the hands-on education he had previously experienced at the alternative school. “The main problem was around sparking discovery and starting discussion,” he said. “Instead, I wanted this interactive lesson tool where students can express themselves and have agency — the opposite of this lecture model.”
After bonding over these issues in education with his future cofounder Eirik Hernes Berre at university, the two teamed up with Seip’s childhood friend Frikk Fossan to create an interactive tool where students could “express themselves and have agency” in the classroom, Seip said, which became the roots of Curipod.
Since the company’s founding in 2019 and the launch of its product in 2021, the team has grown to seven full-time employees, and just raised $4.6 million in seed funding led by the edtech firm Reach Capital, which named the startup as one of the most promising edtech startups of 2023.
With Curipod, teachers can create lessons on any school subject using generative AI, first by inputting the subject of the lesson, the grade level, and any additional learning objectives. Curipod will then generate a lesson on that topic, along with interactive questions or short-answer quiz prompts that students can respond to from their own devices, like laptops or smartphones. Teachers are then able to review the lessons and make any tweaks before presenting it to the classroom.
Seip and his cofounders had been trying to crack the code for generating lesson plans for years, but it had been too labor intensive at each stage of the way, he said. But once OpenAI’s newest version of GPT3 launched last year, they had their golden ticket.
“That was a huge ‘aha’ moment where we could solve some of the biggest problems for our teachers by making them great lessons that could fit into our interactive style to really help them take down the workload,” Seip said.
Curipod is free for teachers and students to use at the moment, with paid tiers for school districts, said Seip. Currently, the team is offering an AI accelerator program for districts across the US, where Curipod team members travel to different schools and train teachers on how to best use their AI tools in the classroom in exchange for subscribing to Curipod.
The team only launched its AI product at the beginning of this year, and had not previously sought venture capital funding. But this year, they felt confident that they were growing at a fast enough rate to scale at a pace that aligned with venture funding. Curipod has signed up over 150,000 teachers to date in schools in all 50 states, as well as Norway, Seip said.
This rapid growth convinced the team at Reach Capital to sign on and lead Curipod’s seed round. Emerson Collective, Sondo Capital, and Edovate Capital also participated in the round, along with some angel investors.
The startup plans to use the fresh funds to train more educators on how to use Curipod in the classroom, sign up more teachers and school districts, as well as make a few strategic hires.